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To welcome Tina Finn to membership of the Remuneration Panel.
At its meeting on 1 November 2018, the Council formally ratified the appointment of Mrs. Finn to membership of the Panel. Members may wish to consider the following information as an induction to the role and responsibilities of the Panel, for Mrs. Finn:
(a) guidance issued by the former Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in relation to members' allowances and Remuneration Panels; and
(b) the Council’s Members’ Allowances Scheme for the 2018/19 municipal year.
The Panel welcomed Tina Finn to the meeting as a new member of the Remuneration Panel. The Democratic Services Manager reported that the Council had formally ratified the appointment of Mrs. Finn at its meeting on 1 November 2018 and members and officers of the Panel introduced themselves to Mrs. Finn.
The Democratic Services Manager and Service Director (Governance and Member Services) provided an induction presentation on the role and responsibilities of the Remuneration Panel.
Election of Chairman
To elect a Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting. There is no appointed Chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a Chairman is agreed at each meeting.
The Democratic Services Manager reminded members that there was no appointed chairman of the Panel, as the appointment of a chairman was agreed at each meeting.
That S. Lye be elected as Chairman of the Panel for the duration of the meeting.
Declarations of Interest
To declare interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.
No interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting were declared by members of the Panel, pursuant to the Council’s Code of Member Conduct.
Terms of Reference
To note the following terms of reference of the Remuneration Panel:
‘To assess the level of allowances, special responsibility allowances and other payments for members of the Council carrying out the following functions and report to the Council for determination:
· the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council;
· the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Council;
· Portfolio Holders;
· the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee;
· the Chairmen and Vice-Chairman of Regulatory, Area and other Committees and Working Groups; and
· other Members of Council.’
To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 October 2017.
That the minutes of the meeting of the Panel held on 30 October 2017 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
To consider the attached report.
The Democratic Services Manager reminded the Panel that the annual review of the Council’s Member Allowances Scheme commenced in September each year, in order to ensure that recommendations for revision to elements of the Scheme could be considered by the time that the authority’s budget was approved for the following financial year.
Members noted that, to commence the review process for 2019/20, a general invitation had been extended to all elected and co-opted members of the Council on behalf of the Panel, to express any suggestions or concerns with regard to the current operation of the allowances scheme. The Democratic Services Manager reported that one representation had been received as a result of such invitation.
Members’ Allowances Scheme
The Panel was reminded that, at its meeting on 15 December 2016, the Council had agreed the implementation of 100% of the amount of Basic Allowance for each member with effect from the commencement of the 2016/17 municipal year, in line with the recommendations of the Panel over a number of years..
The Democratic Services Manager reported that,in considering the recommendations of the Panel in December 2016, the Council had agreed that no change be made to the payment of the full amount of Basic Allowance of £4,300.00 per member per annum to be included in the Members’ Allowances Scheme, following an increase in the implementation rate of the Basic Allowance from 2016/17 in line with the recommendations of the Panel that the authority should implement 100% of the amount of Basic Allowance for each member, rather than the level of 80% previously applied.
The Panel did not consider it necessary to recommend any further changes to the application of Basic Allowance for 2019/20. However, members’ considered that it would be appropriate to continue to revisit the application of Basic Allowance as part of the annual review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme, notwithstanding that the implementation of any increase would be a matter for the Council to determine and that there remained a continued need for restraint in the setting of the authority’s annual budget. The panel requested that a benchmarking exercise be undertaken amongst comparable local authorities as part of it’s review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme in 2019, in order to assess whether an inflationary increase in the level of Basic Allowance, linked to recent local government pay awards, should be considered.
Special Responsibility Allowance
The Panel did not consider that it was necessary to make any changes to the Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA) applied to various member positions for 2018/19, as there had been no change in such responsibilities since the review of the Members’ Allowances Scheme for the current year. However, the Panel wished to encourage the Council to increase the implementation level of the relevant allowances identified in the Members’ Allowances Scheme, in order to achieve the full amount of each allowance as soon as possible.
The Panel was advised that the Council would shortly be considering options for the review ... view the full minutes text for item 18.
Any Other Business
To consider any additional items of business for the meeting.
On behalf of the Remuneration Panel, the Chairman expressed the appreciation of members to Simon Hill (Service Director (Governance and Member Services)), the current lead officer for the Members Allowances Scheme, who was shortly to leave the Council after many years of service to the authority.
Date of Next Meeting
To consider arrangements for future meetings of the Panel, if required.
The Panel agreed that it was not necessary to consider arrangements for future meetings at the present time.